EDITORIAL: Dogged by debate

Perhaps the pendulum has swung on this favourite topic of letter writers one final time

The letters to the editor typically arrive like clockwork.

For example, when Peace Arch News publishes one person’s opinion espousing the notion that trains should be rerouted off the waterfront, we often receive one noting trains have been here for more than a century and another asking where the tracks would go. And on it goes.

When we publish a letter that calls for opposition to one particular political philosophy, it is usually soon followed by an equally partisan opposing viewpoint.

And, in the case of pet owners, when we receive a letter in the spring either calling for dogs to be allowed on White Rock’s promenade or complaining about dog owners ignoring the ban, this is followed by the opposite view.

Of course, this latter example will usually result in a week or three of back-and-forths, with opponents using inventive euphemisms for canine feces, proponents noting rules in neighbouring communities and the debate expanding to not-unrelated topics, including calls for specific breed bans.

Truth be told, there are few issues that divide our community more than dog ownership.

Those who like the idea of allowing dog walkers on the waterfront note White Rock is one of the few cities to have an absolute ban on such a touristy walkway. Those who oppose it point to potential dangers and health concerns.

And we have no doubt you, the reader, have your opinion, as well.

However, this year has been different. While we thought we might have a reprieve from the topic for all of 2018 – we didn’t, after all, have an influx of letters on the issue last spring – fate had other plans.

Last week, White Rock council supported resident Mike Armstrong’s request to conduct a year-long pilot project that would allow leashed pets on the promenade for all but the four warmest months.

READ MORE: White Rock to allow dogs on promenade

And when we posted our article reporting council’s unanimous vote – not a quite a done deal, though a reversal before final reading would be a rarity – readers online were abuzz with comments mainly in support of the idea.

Curiously, it was quite the opposite result in print, as you might note on today’s letters page.

Whether the electorate reflects the majority opinion in either medium remains to be seen. However, this year’s reversal of opinion – from elected officials at least – gives us hope that perhaps the pendulum has swung on this favourite topic of letter writers one final time.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: High-flying fun at 2019 Boundary Bay Airshow

Thousands came out for the free annual event on Saturday, July 20

COLUMN: Looking at B.C.’s home support report card

Columnist ML Burke shares highlights from B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel MacKenzie’s report

Another 250 units proposed for booming block in Clayton neighbourhood

New developments join list of projects popping up near new Salish Secondary, future community centre

Two from Delta killed in two-vehicle crash near Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Police ask for help locating missing men who were last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read